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Optimization of Steel Arch Rib Lateral Bracing

Joseph Garth Eixenberger

A project report submitted to the faculty of


Brigham Young University
in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of
Master of Science

Richard J. Balling, Chair


Fernando S. Fonseca
Paul W. Richards

Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering


Brigham Young University
June 2014

Copyright 2014 Joseph Garth Eixenberger


All Rights Reserved

ABSTRACT
Optimization of Steel Arch Rib Lateral Bracing
Joseph Garth Eixenberger
Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, BYU
Master of Science
This project examines the use of the stress design ratio to optimize the lateral bracing between
arch ribs. Literature review on the design of bracing between arch ribs is given. Using the
design processes set out, an excel worksheet was modified to account for the brace sizing
throughout a long span arch bridge. These values were then checked against the actual design of
the Lupu Bridge.

Keywords: stress design ratio, arch rib lateral bracing, Lupu Bridge.

TABLE OF CONTENTS

Introduction ........................................................................................................................... 1

Literature review................................................................................................................... 3

2.1

Out-of-Plane Buckling of Solid Rib Arches Braced with Transverse Bars .................... 3

2.2

Ultimate Strength of Steel Arches Under Lateral Loads ................................................ 3

2.3

Numerical approach to the lateral buckling of steel tied-arch bridges ........................... 4

2.4

Key Technology for Design of Lupu Bridge .................................................................. 4

2.5

Arch Bridges from Steel Designers Handbook ............................................................. 5

2.6

Arches from Guide to Stability Design Criteria for Metal Structures ............................ 5

2.7

Arch Bridges ................................................................................................................... 5

Forces acting on Bridge ........................................................................................................ 7


3.1

Wind Loads ..................................................................................................................... 7

3.2

Buckling Load................................................................................................................. 8

3.3

Gravity Load ................................................................................................................... 9

Bracing Types and analysis ................................................................................................ 11


4.1

Wind Force Acting on the Brace .................................................................................. 12

4.2

Vierendeel Bracing ....................................................................................................... 13

4.3

Diagonal Bracing .......................................................................................................... 14

Comparison with Lupu bridge .......................................................................................... 15


5.1

Design Values ............................................................................................................... 15

5.2

Spreadsheet Values to Actual Values ........................................................................... 15

5.3

Conclusions ................................................................................................................... 16

REFERENCES............................................................................................................................ 17
Appendix A. Design values and layout...................................................................................... 19
v

Appendix B. Screen shots of Spreadsheet ................................................................................. 21

vi

LIST OF TABLES

Table 1 Comparison of Actual Values to Spreadsheet Values ......................................................16

vii

LIST OF FIGURES

Figure 1 Shear Force Acting on Arch Rib .......................................................................................8


Figure 2 Brace Model ....................................................................................................................11
Figure 3 Vierendeel and Diagonal Bracing ...................................................................................12
Figure 4 Vierendeel Model ............................................................................................................13
Figure 5 Diagonal Bracing Model .................................................................................................14

viii

INTRODUCTION

Arch bridges have been constructed since about 1300 BC, but it wasnt until the Roman
Empire that they truly were utilized in a meaningful way. During that time those bridges were
used to build roadways and aqueducts. Due to the nature of the arch bridge those structures were
able to span longer distances than previous bridges with limited material use and last a long
period of time. In fact many of the bridges built during that time are still in use today.
The arch bridge works by building the structure in such a way that the majority of it is in
compression and the tension forces are negligible. This makes concrete and masonry great
materials for construction as they are both strong in compression. However, due to the material
properties, the span length of an arch was limited to about 40 meters. To overcome this
limitation viaducts, or a bridge composed of several small spans, were used.
To span even greater distances in modern construction steel has replaced concrete and a
truss style bridge is utilized instead of a solid structure. Using these methods spans up to 552
meters has been achieved. However, by using the trusses between arch ribs, it becomes more
susceptible to out-of-plane buckling.
This project examined steel arch bridges for the out-of-plane buckling, and their need for
lateral braces between the steel arch ribs. Research on the different loads that affect the lateral
bracing was examined and are presented in this project report. An excel worksheet was created
to optimize the amount of steel needed for these braces using the stress ratio method. These
results were then compared with the actual design of the Lupu Bridge.
1

LITERATURE REVIEW

In preparation of carrying this project several articles and books were read on the design
process for the lateral bracing between arch ribs. The following is a brief review of this
literature.

2.1

Out-of-Plane Buckling of Solid Rib Arches Braced with Transverse Bars


In this article Tatsuro Sakimoto and Yoshio Namita explored a numerical analysis of the

buckling load caused by the out-of-plane buckling in a solid circular arch rib bridge. Using the
transfer matrix method general equations the out-of-plane buckling were derived dependent on
the flexural rigidity of the arch ribs and the transverse bars, the number of transverse bars, and
the end conditions of the arch ribs. The numerical analyses were then compared to results from a
model test and were found to be within 90% of the experimental values. In addition to these
results it was found that the number of transverse bars wasnt as important as the location of
these braces.

2.2

Ultimate Strength of Steel Arches Under Lateral Loads


In this article Tatsuro Sakimoto and Sadao Komatsu explained the study of lateral braces

in increasing the structural stability of an arch bridge to lateral loads. In the traditional design
method lateral bracing is based on simple beam theory and treated independently of the design of

the arch ribs. This article presented a method to design these systems together, and simplified
numerical method to estimate forces on the lateral bracing. These methods and numerical
analysis were designed and valid for a through type two-hinged, circular solid steel arch bridges
of uniform depth. Model tests were done and compared to these numerical results. These test
found that the proposed numerical analysis provide a conservative estimate of the combined
vertical and lateral forces on the bridge. Surprisingly, the model tests also found that the shear
force due to wind was almost double of conventional design methods.

2.3

Numerical approach to the lateral buckling of steel tied-arch bridges


In this article H. De Backer Outtier and Ph. Van Boaert discusses how finite element

models of several steel tied-arch bridges were created and used to calculate the lateral buckling
strength of steel tied-arch bridges. To model a more real world application several out-of-plane
imperfections were included in the finite element model of the bridge. Based on the calculated
values, the resistance to out-of-plane buckling was calculated. The results of the calculations
were compared to the existing buckling curves for straight beams, which are generally used in
the European Nations. From this comparison it was found that out-of-plane buckling of arches is
less critical than when calculated using buckling curves from a straight beam as per the code in
these nations. The article also elaborated in the lack of consensus on how to deal with the lateral
buckling of arch bridges.

2.4

Key Technology for Design of Lupu Bridge


Yue Guiping details many of the design aspects of the Lupu Bridge in Shanghai. The

design plans of the bridge are laid out and discussed. The key aspects of the design process of
the bridge both for construction and operation of the bridge are discussed.
4

2.5

Arch Bridges from Steel Designers Handbook


Arthur W. Hedgren, Jr. discusses many of the design aspects for steel arch bridges. Details

on what needs to be considered for the design of the deck, arch rib, tie, hangers, deck lateral
bracing, and rib lateral bracing are presented. Example designs are also provided using the
LRFD design method.

2.6

Arches from Guide to Stability Design Criteria for Metal Structures


Ronald D. Ziemian presents the considerations for the structural design of arch for both in-

plane and out-of-plane stability. For both types of stability design standards, structural analysis,
and numerical methods are discussed. The differences that need to be considered for different
type of arches are discussed and general design methods to account for these differences are
given.

2.7

Arch Bridges
In this article Douglas A. Nettleton emphasizes aspects of arch bridge design such as

wind stress analysis and deflection, stress amplification due to deflection, consideration of rib
shortening moments, plate stiffening, and calculations for preliminary design. The article
discusses the three major types of arches in use today, mainly steel, concrete, and covered
arches. In the steel arch bridges a discussion is given on how to calculate the loads from winds
as well as the preliminary design methods. Examples of the design methods are then given.

FORCES ACTING ON BRIDGE

In the design process it is first necessary to identify and estimate the forces acting on the
structure. When designing lateral bracing in bridges two types of forces usually control the
design: wind and seismic forces. However, these two forces are assumed to act separately. In
general design practice this means that one type would be assumed to control and after designing
against that type the other force would be checked. For this project only the wind force was
considered and no check was done in regards to the seismic design. This decision was made as
wind loads are generally considered to control in long span bridges (Barker, 2007).
In conjunction with the wind or seismic force it was also necessary to consider a nominal
force that accounts for the buckling of the arch ribs, as well as the gravity force of the braces
themselves.

3.1

Wind Loads
To estimate the wind loads the procedures in ASCE 7 were followed as stated in section

6.5.3. Usually a wind speed is estimated based on geographic location; for this project an
assumed velocity of 178 mph was used. All other factors were assumed to be 1. Then a wind
pressure, q, was found using the equation:
.00256

3.1

Where V is the wiind speed, I is the imp


portance facctor, kz is tthe height ffactor, kzt iis the
topographic factor, and kd is the directionalit
d
ty factor.
Using
U
this wiind pressure acting on th
he rib was foound at everry brace poinnt by multipplying
this presssure by the depth
d
of the arch rib and
d the averagee distance beetween bracee points. A wind
reduction
n coefficient was consideered to accou
unt for trusss style ribs coompared to ssolid ribs.
To
T find how the
t wind forrces act on th
he braces first the shear force on thee arch rib is ffound
by modeling the arch
h as a simply
y supported beam as shoown in Figuure 1. Wheree V1, V2, ettc are
d forces at th
he brace points. The sh
hear force att any point aalong the arcch rib is theen the
the wind
summatio
on of all win
nd forces to the
t half-span
n point minuus any of thee wind forcess up to that ppoint.

Figure 1 Shear Force Actin


ng on Arch R
Rib

3.2

uckling Loa
ad
Bu
The
T buckling load is an assumed
a
nom
minal force thhat is estimaated to deal w
with the archh ribs

buckling. When an arch rib beegins to buck


kle part of tthe vertical force from the rib, hanngers,
nd other com
mponents of the bridge then
t
have a lateral compponent due to the deflecction.
struts, an

The best method to estimate this force is still under debate and dependent on the type of arch
bridge (De Backer 2007).
Many methods have been developed to estimate the buckling load on the bracing between
the arch ribs. These methods depend on the shape of the arch, parabolic or circular, the rib depth,
the incline of the arch ribs, the type of arch, and the foundation conditions. Though this project
mainly looked at the Lupu Bridge in comparison where one of the numeric methods could be
utilized, the goal was to make the equations used be universal enough to be used on several
bridges. Therefore, this project utilized the 2% rule, which states: Bracing systems shall be
proportioned to have strength perpendicular to the longitudinal axis of the braced member in the
plane of buckling equal to 0.02 times the factored compressive force at each brace point in the
member being braced, unless a detailed analysis is carried out (AASHTO 2012). Though this
method can be universally applied to many bridges its major drawback is that it is considered
highly conservative, and is usually not used in long span bridges as a more accurate load force
can be found. The buckling force was then found using:
.02

3.2

Where Fbuckling is the buckling force and Fcomp is the compressive force in the arch rib.

3.3

Gravity Load
The gravity load is to account for the self-weight of the brace. As the brace is secured

between 2 arch ribs it is modeled as a fixed-fixed beam. The equation from the moment caused
by gravity, Mgrav, is then:
3.3
Where A is the area of the brace, is the density of steel, and d is the length of the brace.

BRACING TYPES AND ANALYSIS

Though there are many types of braces that can be utilized, this project concentrated on box
girder braces. This was done as box girder braces are one of the most common brace types used
in arch bridges and previous assumptions that exist in the excel worksheet could continue to be
used. The brace is modeled as shown in Figure 2, where all the area of the brace is assumed to
be in the four corners of the brace that are connected by webs of negligible size.
These braces are then considered to be laid out in two different patterns. The first pattern is
vierendeel, or transverse bars, as shown in Figure 3. The second pattern is a diagonal truss that
is also shown in Figure 3.
The depth of the brace is assumed to be a function of the arch rib depth. A reduction factor
is multiplied by the arch rib depth to calculate the brace depth.

Figure 2 Brace Model

11

Figure 3 Vierrendeel and Diiagonal Bracing

4.1

Wiind Force Acting


A
on thee Brace
Kn
nowing the shear
s
on the arch rib it is
i possible too solve for tthe force acting on the bbrace

between arch ribs. From


F
mechan
nics the forcee is:
4.1
Where is the shear stress, s is th
he spacing between bracce points, andd b is the wiidth of the brrace.
can be found using the shear fo
ormula:
4.2
Where V is the sheaar at any po
oint, Q is the first mom
ment of a plaane area, I iis the momeent of
inertia, an
nd b is the width
w
of the brace.
b
The moment
m
of innertia is solvved using:
4.3
Where A is the areaa of the bracce, and h iss the distancce between tthe two archh ribs. Thee first
moment of a plane arrea is:
4.4
Using theese other vallues the sheaar stress can be written:
4.5
The forcee in the brace from the wind
w
can then
n be written as:
4.6
12

Thiss force is theen used in determining


d
the stress raatio but is ussed differenntly dependinng on
the bracin
ng pattern.

4.2

Vieerendeel Brracing
The vierendeel bracing
b
is treated like finding the str
tress in the w
web of an I-bbeam. The bbrace

is modeleed as shown
n in Figure 4.
4 As the fo
orce from thee wind acts on both endds of the braace in
opposite directions a couple is crreated. To resist
r
this coouple a mom
ment at the ennd of the braace is
created and
a is calculaated using:

4.7

Where V is the shearr force at thaat brace poin


nt, and s is thhe spacing beetween bracees.
To optimize
o
thee brace, the stress
s
ratio method
m
is ussed. The strress ratio is solved usinng the
following
g:

4.8
Where A is the area of
o the brace,, t is the deptth of the braace, and alloww is the allow
wable stress..
The stress ratio is
i then multiiplied by thee original areea to find thee new area oof the brace. This
is continu
ued until thee stress ratio is equal to 1.
1

Figurre 4 Vierendeeel Model

13

4.3

Dia
agonal Braccing
The diagonal bracing is mod
deled as sho
own in Figurre 5. The forrce in each m
member from
m the

hen:
wind is th
4.9
Where V is the sheaar at that braace point, s is
i the spacinng between bbraces, and d is the lenggth of
the bracee.
To optimize
o
thee brace, the stress
s
ratio method
m
is ussed. The strress ratio is solved usinng the
following
g:

4.10
Where A is the area of
o the brace,, t is the deptth of the braace, and alloww is the allow
wable stress.
The stress ratio is
i then multiiplied by thee original areea to find thee new area oof the brace. This
ued until thee stress ratio is equal to 1.
1
is continu

Figure 5 Diagonal Braacing Model

14

COMPARISON WITH LUPU BRIDGE

The Lupu Bridge is a steel arch bridge built in Shanghai, China. The main span of the
bridge is 550 meters long and was the part of the bridge that was investigated. Using the
modified spreadsheet values were compared to the actual design of the Lupu Bridge.
Comparisons to several parts of the bridge are made to give an overall accuracy.

5.1

Design Values
All values that were used in the spreadsheet tried to reflect the actual values that were used

in the design. Where actual values could not be found, best estimates were used. As the brace
depth is roughly half of the depth of the arch rib, the brace/rib ratio was assumed to be 0.5. The
other values used as well as the design layout are given in Appendix A.

5.2

Spreadsheet Values to Actual Values


The actual area of the arch rib, the force in each hanger, the force in the ties, and the max

and minimum brace size areas were found and compared to the spreadsheets values (Guiping,
2008).

A summary of the comparisons is shown in Table 1.

spreadsheet are given in Appendix B.

15

Screenshots of the whole

Table 1 Comparison of Actual Values to Spreadsheet Values

Max Arch Rib Area (m^2) 2.2


Force in hanger (KN)
1245

1.97
1184.33

Error
(%)
10.5
4.87

Force in tie (KN)

199280.32

203701.36

2.22

Max Brace Area (m^2)


Min Brace Area (m^2)

0.24
0.18

0.203
0.019

15.4
89.4

Actual Value Spreadsheet Value

For the most part the values obtained from the spreadsheet area are fairly close to the
actual values. However, there are some parts of the bridge that arent accounted for that might
explain the error. On the top of the arch ribs lies a viewing platform, as well as the lighting
system over the bridge. The weight from these would increase the overall dead weight as well as
live load put on to the arch ribs as well as the braces. As a check when a higher load is placed on
the ribs the error decreases. The only area which is not impacted in any meaningful way is the
minimum brace area. The high error here is most likely due to a minimum amount of steel that is
required in the braces by code. No code reference to the minimum required area for braces was
found and was therefore not included in the spreadsheet.

5.3

Conclusions
The modifications to the spreadsheet were successful in finding roughly the area of the

maximum brace size. It was also successful in being able to be implemented to several types of
bridges that will be investigated using the spreadsheet.

However, it was unsuccessful in

determining the minimum brace size. Further research on the minimum area of steel required
would need to be investigated for the area of the bridge, as well as any other source of error.

16

REFERENCES

A. Outtier, H. De Backer and Ph. Van Bogaert. Numerical approach to the lateral buckling of
steel tied-arch bridge. 5th International Conference on Arch Bridges, 2007.
American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials. AASHTO LRFD Bridge
Design Specifications. 2012
Barker, Richard and Jay Puckett. Deisgn of Highway Bridges: An LRFD Approach. New Jersey:
John Wiley & Sons, 2007.
Guiping, Yue. Key Technology Design of Lupu Bridge. 2008.
Hedgren, Arthur. Section 14 Arch Bridges. In Structural Steel Designers Handbook. New
York: McGraw-Hill Book Company, 2006.
Nettleton, Douglas. Arch Bridges. 2002.
Sakimoto, Tatsuro and Yoshio Namita. Out-of-Plane Buckling of Solid Rib Arches Braced with
Transverse Bars. 1971.
Sakimoto, Tatsuro and Sadao Komatsu. Ultimate Strength of Steel Arch Bridges Under Lateral
Loads. 1979.
Ziemian, Ronald. Chapter 17 Arches. In Guide to Stability Design Criteria of Metal
Structures. 6th edition. John Wiley & Sons, 2010.

17

APPENDIX A. DESIGN VALUES AND LAYOUT

High-Strength Wires
allowable stress (KPa)
density (KN/m^3)

1180000
77

Structural Steel
allowable stress (KPa)
density (KN/m^3)

247000
77

Load Data
wind pressure (KPa)
wind pressure reduction coeff
lane load (KN/m)
number of lanes
deck dead load (KPa)
brace weight (Kpa)
brace depth / rib depth

young's modulus (Kpa) 200000000

3.88
1
19.5
7
3.59
1.00
0.5

There are 30 pairs of hangers spaced at 13.5 m intervals


http://www.bath.ac.uk/ace/uploads/StudentProjects/Bridgeconference2007/conference/mainpage/Ellis_Lupu.pdf

from plans assuming 2 struts on each side at 36.5 meters spacing


39.5 w ide and 3m high bridge deck road surface is 28.7 m w ide

http://www.arch-bridges.com/conf2008/pdf/431.pdf
deck is 46 meters above supports as shown in figure arch inclines at 5/1 slope so is 51 width at base and 11 m at top

The overall height of the web of arch rib has a transition from 9m at the skewback to 6m at
the arch crown. http://www.arch-bridges.com/conf2008/pdf/431.pdf

19

20

APPEND
DIX B. SCR
REEN SHOT
TS OF SPR
READSHEE
ET

The actuaal spreadsheeet is held by


y Dr. Balling
g, and can bee accessed byy request to him.

21

22

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